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Adrianne C. Smith 646-217-9995

John Osborn Named Chairman of the Board of Directors
for the Center for Excellence in Advertising (CEA) at Howard University

New York, NY, May 5, 2011 - The Center for Excellence in Advertising (CEA) at Howard University has announced the appointment of John Osborn, President and CEO of BBDO New York, as the Chairman of CEA’s Board of Directors.  An outspoken advocate of diversity and head of the headquarters office of the third largest global advertising agency network in the world, Mr. Osborn will lead the seven member board that helps shape the direction of CEA. 

“Having someone of John's stature and reputation on our team will significantly strengthen Howard University’s efforts to increase diversity in the industry.  Mr. Osborn has the business savvy and the knowledge to help the Center for Excellence in Advertising at Howard University grow,” said Dr. Jannette L. Dates, Dean, Howard University’s School of Communications who also serves on CEA’s Board of Directors and is the co-principal investigator on the grant from the 4A’s that established CEA.

A 20-year advertising industry veteran, Mr. Osborn has led the New York office of BBDO since 2004.  Under his leadership, the agency has been recognized for its diversity efforts including winning the American Advertising Federation's (AAF) Mosaic Award for the Outstanding Workforce Diversity Program in 2009.  On a personal level, John has also been applauded for his efforts to contribute beyond the industry, having been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and an inductee into the AAF's "Hall of Achievement" in 2006.

“I am looking forward to partnering with the CEA Board and continuing to take aim at improving the level of diversity in our industry,” said Mr. Osborn.  “I think we can make real progress toward our mission of attracting and retaining outstanding diverse talent.  Going forward, together, we hope to roll up our sleeves and really make an impact.” 

Nancy Hill, President and CEO of the 4A’s and a CEA Board Member, said, “It is wonderful to have John as a part of our team and supporting the efforts of CEA.  Anyone who's been around John knows that his energy and enthusiasm is infectious."

In addition to Mr. Hill and Mr. Osborn, other members of the CEA board include: Dr. Jonathan Mildenhall, Vice President Global Advertising Strategy and Creative Excellence The Coca Cola Company; Dr. Jannette L. Dates, Dean, Howard University’s School of Communications; Singleton Beato, Senior Vice President of Diversity & Inclusion and Talent Development 4A’s; Toni Fay, President TGF Associates; and Jeff Burns Jr., Veteran Marketing Executive/Author Vice Chairman The School Of Communications Board of Visitors Howard University.

The Center for Excellence in Advertising at Howard University is an Executive Education Program that envisions becoming the advertising industry’s certified talent resource and pipeline for people of color. CEA is managed by Howard University’s School of Communications, which has the only accredited degree-granting program in advertising among the Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The 4A’s is the national trade association of advertising agencies providing advocacy, thought leadership and education for its members who comprise virtually all of the large, multinational agencies and hundreds of mid-to-small size agencies around the country.

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